‘Mental Not Physical’ The Changing Role Of Australian Gyms In 2021

"It's as important for their mental resilience as it is their physical outcome."

‘Mental Not Physical’ The Changing Role Of Australian Gyms In 2021

Image Credit: @agogabondi (photo taken pre lockdown)

2021 has been tough.

No international travel, lockdowns killing businesses, Delta killing people. It’s not been easy.

But there have been a couple of (minor) silver linings. For one thing, Australians now have more high-quality coffee accessible to them than ever before.

Another positive is people are investing more in their health. And not just financially (although many have been learning to invest in the stock market too). That’s right: thanks to the series of lockdowns we’ve endured, many people have switched from spending money on taxis and vodka sodas to spending money on personal training.

John Field, owner and head coach of Bondi gym, Agoga, tells DMARGE, “The thing that worked in a lot of trainers’ favours is that people who might not necessarily be affected financially [by COVID-19] weren’t now spending money on taxis or movies or dinner, so they now had potentially a surplus income, which they could put back into themselves.”

“One on one training actually increased because it was the one thing they then could do.”

“If you look at our timetable now, it’s almost 50-50 but a bit more in favour of PT. If you look at our schedule there are 27 sessions live… probably across the board 30 sessions collectively of PT 1 on 1.”

“This has really helped us and saved us to an extent.”

People are also investing more in their fitness at the moment, John reckons, “because it’s one of the four or five essential reasons you can leave the house.”

It’s not necessarily just for the physical component either. John tells DMARGE: “Although that’s what they’re seeing a trainer for, it’s for that mental engament too. You’ve got somewhere to go that’s not your backyard or balcony or loungeroom.”

“You actually get the opportunity to walk to a destination to speak to someone else. So it’s as important for their mental resilience as it is their physical outcome and I really feel like that’s become a main part to this.”

“It’s a chance to talk, chat about how they are feeling, mental space, that sort of stuff in a way that I don’t necessarily get to do maybe otherwise.”

This comes after, during the period in between lockdowns, gyms in Australia became “the new nightclubs” of Australia.

Here’s hoping that lifestyle (and further down the track, the ability to visit actual nightclubs again) comes back as soon as safely possible.

Short of home workout inspiration? Here are three simple exercises to kick you off, courtesy of Agoga.

3 Simple Steps To Get You Working Out At Home

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